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Microsoft and Expedia.co.uk Launch First Dedicated Browser for Travel Enthusiasts

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65 per cent of holiday hungry Brits agree that the best deals are found online

Today, Microsoft and Expedia.co.uk launch the first dedicated and optimised web browser for travel enthusiasts, available for download at http://www.expedia.co.uk/ie8.aspx

Expedia Weather in IE8
Expedia Weather in IE8

To coincide with the launch, Microsoft conducted research  into how the UK feels about booking a holiday on the Internet.  The results reveal that despite 65 per cent of holiday hungry Brits agreeing that the best deals are found online, 22 per cent are still struggling to find their way around the web as they feel it takes more preparation than a job interview!

To simplify the travel search process, Microsoft is bringing the easy to use functionality of Expedia.co.uk direct to the browser to provide ready-access for every step of the travel process from choosing a destination through to the latest weather and currency fluctuations as their trip approaches.

The new Expedia.co.uk version of Internet Explorer 8 helps travel enthusiasts with a range of straightforward features which will update dynamically with useful information such as flights and room prices – keeping travel enthusiasts up-to-date as they browse the web and carry on with their day. These features include Accelerators which are predefined Favourites to help users navigate to the most relevant websites in one click, as well as customised Webslices that bring external website content direct into the Expedia page without needing to open new tabs and search.

  • Expedia Last Minute Deals - the simple to use drop down menus include car hire, flights and hotel, flights, hotels and package holidays for all Expedia’s best deals

  • Expedia Hot Hotels - categorises results by star rating and average guest review to deliver the very best hotel deals from over 123,000 hotels found on Expedia.

  • Expedia Weather –provides local forecasts for the selected destination 

  • Expedia Currency Converter - simplifies the maths with up to the minute exchange rates

Alex Gisbert, director of online partner marketing, Expedia said:

“It makes perfect sense to combine Expedia’s online travel expertise and ease of use with Internet Explorer 8. We hope the new customised browser will really help users enjoy a faster, easier and safer browsing experience than ever before.”

To alleviate some of the concerns as highlighted by 45 per cent of the UK who worry about credit card fraud, the new Expedia.co.uk version of Internet Explorer 8 includes InPrivate browsing which means credit card details and other personal information cannot be viewed by others.

In addition, SmartScreen filter will help the 40 per cent of Brits who don’t know how to protect themselves from online identity theft as it helps keeps online travellers safe from dangers like malicious software and phishing threats. Internet Explorer 8 offers the best protection against socially engineered malware compared to other browser (NSS Labs, Feb 2010 ).

Additional features include Expedia Visual Search which answers specific queries within the Expedia site and delivers results in both images and text so users get the full picture of where they’re booking. Users can also download the Expedia Holiday Countdown  gadget direct to their desktop so they know exactly how long they have to wait until they depart.

Julia Owen, Internet Explorer product manager added:

“We’re thrilled to be working with Expedia to help our customers book their holidays quickly and easily.  The new Expedia.co.uk version of Internet Explorer 8 has been designed to provide intrepid travellers with the information they need, with enhanced security and safety features that help protect travellers from the threats they face online.”

The Internet Explorer 8 Expedia browser can be downloaded here: http://www.expedia.co.uk/ie8.aspx.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realise their full potential.

About Expedia, Inc.
Expedia, Inc. is the world’s leading online travel company, empowering business and leisure travellers with the tools and information they need to easily research, plan, book and experience travel. Expedia, Inc. also provides in-destination concierge service and activity desks for travellers. The Expedia, Inc. portfolio of brands includes: Expedia.com®, hotels.com®, Hotwire®, Egencia™ (formerly Expedia Corporate Travel), TripAdvisor®, Expedia Local Expert™, Classic Vacations® and eLong™. Expedia, Inc.’s companies operate more than 70 global points of sale in more than 40 countries, with sites in North America, South America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. Expedia, Inc. is a component of the S&P 500 index. Expedia, Inc. partners with loyalty programme Nectar in the UK enabling its customers to collect 200 Nectar points on stand alone flight, hotel or car hire bookings and 1000 points on package purchases through http://www.expedia.co.uk/. For more information, visit http://www.expediainc.com/ (NASDAQ: EXPE).

Contact
Andrew Burton or Ben Sewell, 3 Monkeys Communications, 020 7009 3100,
Microsoft@3-monkeys.co.uk